Tuesday, 31 May 2022

The Moderna Booster

I’ve just had my fourth Covid vaccination. And I realize what you might be thinking. Well, I am an old git. But I’m not quite that old a git. I discussed the matter with my GP and he put me down for the jab. I am clinically extremely vulnerable, but I’m not immuno-suppressed or over 75. Not yet, anyway. I had no reaction to my previous vaccinations, other than a day of tiredness and a sore arm. I was given two Pfizers and a Moderna before. But this time, I did have a significant reaction.

About half an hour after this Moderna vaccination, I began to feel very tired. And this increased. Within a few hours, my head was befuddled and I started the shivers. It was just as if I was down with the flu. I also felt very hungry. All I could do was to sit in an armchair. I actually watched the Giro D’Italia broadcast in Welsh. I don’t speak the language, but I enjoyed the pictures of sunnier climes.

I went to bed early, thinking that I’d wake up feeling back to normal. But the flu-like symptoms persisted for the rest of the next day. I began to wonder how long I would be stuck with these symptoms and whether I was having an unusual reaction. I also realized just how bad it would be to get Covid itself. Thankfully, the following morning, my head had cleared. And I was just left with the normal post-vaccine tiredness. By the end of the third day, I felt pretty much back to normal.

It’s strange how the reactions have intensified over time. And also that they were significantly different to the Moderna booster I had last November. I suppose the fourth vaccine is different to the previous ones, as it is trying to protect you against new variants. Anyway, I am now up and about and grateful for the opportunity to take part in the world again.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Advanced Crime Writing

I’m very pleased to have been selected for the first Advanced Crime Writing course run by Curtis Brown. Entrance to the course was competitive. I submitted the first 3000 words and the synopsis of my novel. The tutor is Emma Kavanagh. She has written six crime novels and one non-fiction book. She has a PhD in psychology and is an expert on the effects of trauma. I’m hoping to learn a lot and to improve my manuscript. At the end of the course, our book proposals are circulated to the agents of Curtis Brown.

The course takes place via Zoom and Curtis Brown’s online learning platform. During the course, you have to submit several extracts from your novel for comment from the tutor and the other participants. You also have individual tutorials with Emma. The weekly Zoom sessions cover key topics for crime writers.

The course is just starting and the participants have introduced themselves to one another. They include a novelist with two books published, a TV scriptwriter, a memoirist, a short story writer and a non-fiction writer. There is a diversity of work experience, from the Louisiana State Police, to a bookseller, a special needs teacher and a meterologist. The participants come from the UK, USA, Australia, Ireland, Germany and Hong Kong.

Over the next two months I hope to improve my understanding of crime writing, get insightful feedback on my novel and to be stretched as a writer. Emma’s introduction said that she wanted to help us get to the ‘next level’ as crime writers. I’m really looking forward to that.